Third Sex Trafficking Survivor Joins Lawsuit Against Nevada for Enabling Sexual Slavery   

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Lawsuit Adds Sapphire and Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club as Defendants 

 
WASHINGTON, DC (November 23, 2021) – A third sex trafficking survivor has joined two other plaintiffs who were sex trafficked in Nevada in a lawsuit filed by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center (NCOSE) and Jason Guinasso, an attorney with Hutchison & Steffen, PLLC, against Steve Sisolak, Governor of Nevada, Aaron Ford, Attorney General of Nevada, the City of Las Vegas, Clark County, NV, Nye County, NV, the Chicken Ranch, Jamal Rashid and various businesses associated with him. The amended complaint filed on November 10, 2021, added Sapphire Gentleman’s Club and Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club as defendants, and seeks to hold the defendants responsible for protecting the sex trade and enabling sex slavery, in violation of the 13th Amendment. 

Plaintiff Jane Doe #2 joins the lawsuit originally filed on behalf of Angela Williams and Jane Doe #1. All were induced through force, fraud, and coercion to engage in commercial sex in Nevada’s legal sex industry, including legal escort agencies, legal strip clubs, and a legal brothel.  

“This lawsuit seeks to hold the Nevada defendants accountable for enabling and profiting from the sex trafficking of these plaintiffs. Nevada’s legal prostitution system gives legal cover to slavery – which the Thirteenth Amendment forbids,” said Christen Price, senior legal counsel at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. 

Plaintiff Jane Doe #2 was sex trafficked in Nevada through legal strip clubs: Sapphire Gentleman’s Club and Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. Sapphire and Hustler employed a system of fees and tipping that caused Jane Doe #2 to remain in debt to them. Her traffickers confiscated her actual identification documents, preventing her from leaving Nevada without their permission. Plaintiff Jane Doe #2 engaged in commercial sex acts at Sapphire and Hustler, induced through force, fraud, and coercion from her pimps/sex traffickers, and through fraud and coercion from Sapphire and Hustler. 

Plaintiff Angela Williams was sex trafficked in Nevada through legal escort businesses. Originally groomed into prostitution and then trafficked in Houston, she was eventually exploited by a Las Vegas-based licensed escort business, VIP Entertainment, owned by Jamal Rashid, also known as “Mally Mall.” 

Plaintiff Jane Doe #1 was sex trafficked in Nevada by multiple pimps, including one that forced her to engage in street prostitution in Las Vegas. Doe was also exploited in legal brothel prostitution at the Chicken Ranch in Nevada. Doe was subjected to debt bondage while prostituted at the Chicken Ranch, while under the control of other pimps.  

In the legal brothels, women are commonly subjected to practices that amount to debt bondage: being locked inside the brothels and not allowed to leave for weeks at a time, having to give the brothel 50% of their earnings, being required to follow the brothel’s rules or face fines, and being forced to live on the premises and pay the brothels for room and board to do so.  

“Nevada’s legalized prostitution system increases the demand for sex. Men travel to the state to buy sex, even though it’s only ‘legal’ in a few counties. This is because Nevada permits de facto prostitution to exist through escort bureaus and entertainment by referral service, failing to implement or enforce laws limiting prostitution advertising, and failing to prevent debt bondage in legal brothels,” said Jason Guinasso, attorney at Hutchison & Steffen, PLLC.  

“Compelling someone to engage in prostitution violates federal law, which bans sex trafficking, including coercing people into commercial sex acts. The plaintiffs deserve justice, as their rights under the 13th Amendment which prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude, among others, have been clearly violated,” said Price.  

Filed in the United States District Court, District of Nevada, the lawsuit also asserts the rights of those who are currently being sex trafficked in Nevada, and because of this, are unable to protect their own rights.  

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center offers survivors a way to seek justice. More information can be found at: https://sexualexploitationlawsuits.com/. The legal briefs and more details about the plaintiffs’ stories can be found at NotSafeforWomen.com.  

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The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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